The Orange Cube by Jakob + Macfarlane

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The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

This orange cube with two large round holes carved out of it is a design showroom in Lyon, France, by Paris studio Jakob + Macfarlane.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Top photograph is by Roland Halbe

The building is located next to a harbour and features a coloured metal mesh façade perforated with circles of different sizes.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Above photograph is by Roland Halbe

The volume is punctured in two places, with the smaller hole at ground level providing an entry point into the building.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The larger hole on the upper corner of the structure creates an atrium and exposes the internal floors and balconies.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The six-storey building is separated into a double-height showroom on the ground floor and offices on the upper levels, with a roof terrace surrounding offices on the sixth floor.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Full-height walls with polygonal apertures have been inserted throughout the showroom, with items displayed in the holes.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Photographs are by Nicolas Borel unless otherwise stated.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

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The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The following information is from the architects:


The Orange Cube - Jakob + Macfarlane Architects

The ambition of the urban planning project for the old harbor zone, developed by VNF (Voies Naviguables de France) in partnership with Caisse des Dépôts and Sem Lyon Confluence, was to reinvest the docks of Lyon on the river side and its industrial patrimony, bringing together architecture and a cultural and commercial program.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

These docks, initially made of warehouses (la Sucrière, les Douanes, les Salins, la Capitainerie), cranes, functional elements bound to the river and its flow, mutate into a territory of experimentation in order to create a new landscape that is articulated towards the river and the surrounding hills.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The project is designed as a simple orthogonal « cube » into which a giant hole is carved, responding to necessities of light, air movement and views.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

This hole creates a void, piercing the building horizontally from the river side inwards and upwards through the roof terrace.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The cube, next to the existing hall (the Salins building, made from three archs) highlights its autonomy. It is designed on a regular framework (29 x 33m) made of concrete pillars on 5 levels.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

A light façade, with seemingly random openings is completed by another façade, pierced with pixilated patterns that accompany the movement of the river. The orange color refers to lead paint, an industrial color often used for harbor zones.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Above photograph is by Roland Halbe

In order to create the void, Jakob + MacFarlane worked with a series of volumetric perturbations, linked to the subtraction of three “conic” volumes disposed on three levels: the angle of the façade, the roof and the level of the entry.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

These perturbations generate spaces and relations between the building, its users, the site and the light supply, inside a common office program.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The first perturbation is based on direct visual relation with the arched structure of the hall, its proximity and its buttress form.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

It allows to connect the two architectural elements and to create new space on a double height, protected inside the building.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

A second, obviously an elliptic one, breaks the structural regularity of the pole-girder structure on four levels at the level of the façade corner that gives on the river side.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

This perforation, result of the encounter of two curves, establishes a diagonal relation towards the angle. It generates a huge atrium in the depth of the volume, surrounded by a series of corridors connected to the office platforms.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The plan of the façade is hence shifted towards the interior, constructing a new relation to light and view, from both interior and exterior.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

This creates an extremely dynamic relation with the building that changes geometry according to the position of the spectator.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The tertiary platforms benefit from light and views at different levels with balconies that are accessible from each level.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Each platform enjoys a new sort of conviviality through the access on the balconies and its views, creating spaces for encounter and informal exchanges.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The research for transparency and optimal light transmission on the platforms contributes to make the working spaces more elegant and light.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane
The last floor has a big terrace in the background from which one can admire the whole panoramic view on Lyon, la Fourvière and Lyon-Confluence.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The project is part of the approach for sustainable development and respects the following principles:

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Optimization of the façade conception allowing to reconcile thermal performance and visual comfort with an Ubat < 0,7 W / m2 K and a daylight factor of 2% for almost the total number of offices, a thermo frigorific production through heat pumps on the water level and the replacement of new hygienic air with recuperation of high efficient calories of the extracted air.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Click for larger image

The building is connected to future huge floating terraces connected to the banks of the river/ quays.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Click for larger image

PROGRAM:

commercial: headquarters Cardinal Group, real estate development
cultural: Design Showroom RBC

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

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Showroom concept:

This project was about bringing together a showroom dedicated to the world of design objects inside the architecture of an existing building: « The Orange Cube ». The intention was to bring the worlds of Architecture, Design and the uniqueness of the site in Lyon together into one experience.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Click for larger image

JAKOB + MACFARLANE decided to take the language of the Cube, which is based on the fluid movement of the River Saône and in a sense project this movement inside the space of the showroom.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane
Thus imagining the space as an extrapolation of the façade, a virtual three dimensional river or volume containing a long porous wall whose 60 “alvéoles” are filled with furniture. This wall wraps around the space of the showroom forming an L.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The spectator moves from the spectacular entry wall towards more intimate spaces on the river side. Each “alvéole” is unique in seize and form allowing thus an intimate and private view of each design piece.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

The platforms on the floor, made from a series of kitset pants, imagined like islands, can become stages for different thematic presentations.

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Client: Rhône Saône Développement
Dates: competition 2005 – September 2010
Surface: 6300m2

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Click for larger image

Site: Quai Rambaud, Lyon
Program: tertiary
Cost consultant: Michel Forgue

The Orange Cube by Jakob and Macfarlane

Click for larger image
Electrical Engineering: Alto Ingénierie
Acoustic: Avel Acoustique
Structure: RFR GO+
Façade: T.E.S.S


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  • martin

    looks very much like "universite de jussieu" by peripheriques architects!!

  • nofelix

    the form is very inelegant even though it is exciting. it's a great building that could have been even better if the form worked, rather than looking like a first draft. maybe there is a value to starchitects who can achieve a polished result to new things like this

  • julien

    Ahem: http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=jussieu+

    Done before, done better.

    Meanwhile, you know when in Autocad the circles have all turned into uneven polygons and you need to do a refresh to see the circles again? It feels like they printed their façade at exactly that moment…

  • Henry Skupniewicz

    meh. while i do not mind the roof-deck, the rest of the building is utterly campy, kitsch. it nothing but a combination of many (opposing) forms forming together with the irrational justification of parametric generation. simply put: function and form do not meet.

  • ncw

    super cheesy.

  • gareth

    I find the exterior to be rather ugly.

    • Now

      Since when was beauty a consideration for architects? [A: sometime before the beginning of the modern movement]

  • gareth

    I thought the idea was to make the world a better place. Not slap some building in it that looks like decaying cheese.

  • Ricardo

    It's gonna be a while before they make something so ugly again in Lyon… even if they try!

  • zafar

    Mix everything! Nice blender well done!

    • Now

      The amping up of meaningless complexity!

  • yuc

    it looks like a piece of cheese being eaten up slowly… I do not want to say it is "cheesy" though.

  • Jane

    I understand that every architect wants to make something extraordinary and unique but i think it is not the way forward! This bizarre mix of shapes without any additional meaning lacks harmony and is too distracting. An Orange cube? Polygons? Any meaning behind?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-Tseng/3006675 Alex Tseng

    In this instance, the fillet tool would've really worked better than the chamfer one.

  • Lisa

    HAHAHAH aaah humour

  • Erik

    Looks like a extented version of 'Rem Koolkaas' (kaas means cheese in dutch)
    http://www.architectenweb.nl/aweb/redactie/redact

    (sorry it's dutch)

    • aooth

      I am sorry but the Orange Cube is built and not OMA's one…

      • Judge

        i am sorry but the orange cube is ugly and oma projects are not

  • Jonjoe

    A design showroom should be a bit wacky and out there in order to inspire, and encourage creativity. There seems to be no restraints in the design and some great ideas have emerged as a result.

    • Now

      Why should it?
      Are not the contents the focus?

  • Adrian SONG

    Orange and box version of Darth Vader's Star Destroyer ???

  • Shell

    I love it. I love the decayed, rotting feel of the skin. it's so provoking! Obviously provoking something different in everyone, but thats what all architecture/art/any form of creative expression does. Its bold and i dig it.

    • Now

      What would you think of a building that literally took its formal inspiration from the well-known found object/trash sculptures (artists' names?)? Kind of like Gehry but without the concern for form, just pile form up and make sure it has lots of folds, creases, and messiness.

      Is that architecture? Is it art? I would call that bad art, and nothing close to architecture.

  • Kim Nguyen Ngoc

    You are right Erik, it looks like a bad version of the OMA office bld…

    • aooth

      OMA office bld was designed in 2008 and the Orange Cube won the competition in 2005, so who copied who?

      • judge

        this design isn't unique at all, so it's ridiculous to talk about who has copied who… and, to come back to oma, intersecting volumetries is an old topic in their work, so it's more about following a issue than doing the fanciest design like in this case

  • Pinche

    Looks old already.

  • Greenish

    Shame it's not next to the Gherkin or we would be on our way toward a giant buffet.

  • stelz

    a design showroom should be plainer than the products being exhibited. the building just takes away the spotlight from the actual products.

  • Jonjoe

    Why should they aim to build something plain? The design objects housed inside do not require a dull backround in order to be appreciated. They require the same open-mindness that is needed when a building like this pops up.

    " The intention was to bring the worlds of Architecture, Design and the uniqueness of the site in Lyon together into one experience.."

    For me, the interior has certainly achieved this harmony between the design objects and the architectural space surrounding them. The way the porous effect is echoed from the facade and also acts as stages for the design objects to stand on is nice. There are positive features to this building once it is accepted.

    Also, the only similarities it shares with those other buildings is the bright orange on there facade. Other than a colour it is a completely new and different design and therefore a step forward in my books.

  • ozmoto

    All these comments must be coming from students…. cocky little ants.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amadeo-Bassi/720366927 Amadeo Bassi

    I think its exicting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amadeo-Bassi/720366927 Amadeo Bassi

    i wonder whats the ideology of this building design?

  • h8less3

    Aim for the hole Skywalker!

  • filip

    I think I've never read an article at dezeen with so much content as this one. So many words and pictures… Very thoroughly indeed. But I wonder one thing: where's Jerry?

  • http://www.jwsmithdesign.com Tampa Architecture

    This has to be one of the coolest looking designs on a building I have ever seen.

  • https://www.facebook.com/geof.andrews Geof Andrews

    My first impression was that the Death Star and the Borg Cube had a baby, but the more of the article I saw, the more impressed I became. This building sticks with a theme (polygon holes of all sizes) and is at once both fun and functional. Parts of the building do clash, however (think stripes with polka-dots) and are quite non-sequitur.